A video clip that has recently gone viral on social media appears to depict a group of men engaged in a violent street altercation. This footage was originally shared on Snapchat with the title “Goodnight Apex: Sudanese thugs get decked” and was subsequently uploaded to YouTube by the far-right group Party For Freedom Australia on Wednesday.
The brief, 10-second video is accompanied by a description that reads, “Two Aussies defend themselves in a fight against four Sudanese in Beaumont Street, Hamilton, 11th June 2017.” It was recorded at the junction of Beaumont and Cleary Streets in Newcastle, directly across from The Kent Hotel.
The notorious Apex Gang, which is thought to be responsible for a string of carjackings, home invasions, assaults, and robberies in Melbourne over the past year, has been linked to this incident. While the gang has frequently been described as being primarily composed of individuals of Sudanese descent, Victorian police have emphasized that the group is actually made up of “Australian-born offenders.”
Despite there being no reported incidents involving the Apex Gang in Newcastle, nor any evidence confirming the individuals in the video as gang members, the police have acknowledged the situation.
As stated on the Party For Freedom website, the altercation allegedly took place around 1am on Sunday. The site claims that “The Sudanese troublemakers were drinking in the Hotel Kent verbally abusing patrons while trying to start fights with anyone in the hotel.” However, news.com.au has revealed that this account may not be accurate, as the four men were never inside the hotel itself, having been previously banned from the establishment.
Contrary to the video’s claim of the “Aussies” acting in self-defense, the footage only displays instances where the “Aussie” men appear to be the instigators of the conflict.
Newcastle Police Chief Inspector Terry Burns reported that officers responded to a supposed melee outside the Oasis Food Court early Sunday morning, which involved “a number of males.” When the police arrived at the scene, only two individuals remained, while all other parties had already departed.
The two individuals who remained at the scene were treated for minor facial injuries. “At this stage, we’re still appealing for people to assist us with the identity of a number of persons that were involved in the fight. Inquiries are ongoing. We’ve released the CCTV and we’re confident we will obtain their identities,” Chief Inspector Burns added.
No charges have been filed in connection with the incident thus far. “We’ve actually appealed for them to come forward before we knock on their doors,” Inspector Burns stated.
Party For Freedom Australia, the organization that uploaded the video, was established by the contentious anti-Islam activist Nick Folkes. The group first garnered attention in 2015 when it participated in the Reclaim Australia rallies. Party For Freedom Australia is known for promoting anti-immigration and anti-multiculturalism sentiments.
In a notable incident, Sky News host Andrew Bolt characterized Mr. Folkes as “extremely rude” after around 10 members of the group interrupted a service at Gosford Anglican Church in August, donning Arabic-style attire and chanting slogans through a loudspeaker.
Earlier in the year, Mr. Folkes made an appearance on the SBS show “The Truth About Racism,” hosted by Muslim activist Yassmin Abdel-Magied. He subsequently alleged that the show had been “hijacked” and described it as a “stitch-up from the get-go.”
The viral video, which has accumulated nearly 45,000 views, has also drawn a significant number of racist comments that are too offensive to be reproduced in this context.